Helen Nugent

Pensions, borrowing, gambling and credit cards

Fears that workers’ savings have been put at risk in unsustainable and potentially fraudulent pension schemes have prompted the Government to rush through tougher rules designed to tackle rogue operators. After revelations by The Times, the Pensions Schemes Bill has been introduced to address concerns that the biggest change to workplace pensions in generations could be undermined by a mis-selling scandal. Operators of ‘master trust’ schemes will face stricter rules after the pensions regulator lobbied the government to bring in new rules. The measures are designed to prevent weak or dishonest providers from exploiting the introduction of auto-enrolment in workplace pension schemes. The policy was designed to address the number of workers not saving enough for their retirement. Government borrowing UK government borrowing hit £10.6 billion in September, £1.3 billion higher than September 2015. That’s according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. Paul Hollingsworth at Capital Economics said: ‘Even before the vote to leave the EU, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s fiscal forecasts were looking optimistic. But the weaker economic prospects over the next few years as a result means that these forecasts are likely to be revised substantially in the Autumn Statement next month. Indeed, we think the OBR will present the Chancellor with forecasts for borrowing that are about £25 billion higher in 2019/20 than the previous forecast.’ Online gambling Bookmakers will be brought before the competition watchdog to explain why the industry has been cancelling winning bets and refusing to pay out money to punters, The Times reports. The Competition and Markets Authority will announce an inquiry today into terms and conditions for online betting accounts that, critics say, allow bookmakers to act with impunity. Customers say that betting companies have been using the small print of contracts to deny them promotions, alter odds on successful bets and place unfair curbs on winning accounts.

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